Bears Fall to Aces in Overtime, 66-61, Drop to 0-4 in MVC Play
Missouri State gave a valiant effort and used its defensive pressure to overcome a lackluster shooting performance, only to fall short in overtime, 66-61, to the Evansville Purple Aces at historic Roberts Stadium Wednesday night.
The Bears (7-8, 0-4) trailed 30-27 at the half, but held a hot-shooting Evansville squad to just 34.8 percent shooting in the second half to catch the Aces and later take a four-point lead.
The MSU advantage came with 6:01 to play on a three-pointer by Chris Cooks who had missed the previous three games with an injury. The Bears' 48-44 lead was short-lived as Jason Holsinger answered with a three-pointer of his own two possessions later to tie the game again at the 5:11 mark -- the 10th tie of the game.
After missing the front end of a two-shot foul, Will Creekmore's free throw with 36.4 seconds to go tied the game for the 14th time, 55-55, and forced the extra period.
Evansville scored seven of its 11 overtime points from the free throw line as the Bears lost a season-high three players to foul disqualifications late. The biggest blow came with 18.4 seconds left. After a missed free throw by Kavon Lacey, the Aces grabbed the long rebound and got a put back by Pieter van Tongeren to extend their lead to 65-61.
A long driving shot by Justin Fuehrmeyer on the Bears' next possession was off its mark, and Evansville (11-3, 3-1) added another charity toss in the final seconds to escape with a 66-61 win.
MSU was 1-for-7 in overtime from the field and were led by Will Creekmore's 13 points and 8 rebounds. Fuehrmeyer scored 11, and Shane Laurie had a season-high 10.
The Bears outrebounded the Aces, 38-36, and shot 73.9 percent from the free throw line on 17-of-23, but missed three free throws in overtime.
Holsinger led Evansville with 19 points, including two of Evansville's three three-pointers.
The Bears, who have now lost five straight games for the first time since January 5-18, 2005, continue a two-game road swing on Saturday with a regionally-televised game at Northern Iowa (7:05 p.m.).